The FSA has received the letter below from our counterparts in South Korea – Korea Association of Forest Kindergarten (KAFK).
We had a very special guest from U.K last November, 2014. Dr. Sara knight and Mr.
Jon Cree are great senior of forest education field and we also have become good
friends. They introduced U.K’s forest school history and ethos to Korean colleagues and
most of all they showed us a great passion for forest education for young children.
Forst Kindergarten in South Korea was basically started in 2008. It was introduced by
the Forest Service. At the beginning, they invited forest commentators to the nationwide
wood in South Korea and the programme was proceeded. Since then the forest
kindergarten has rapidly increased and now according to the Korea Association of
Forest Kindergarten (KAFK) in South Korea, there are about 1000 centres nationwide
which runs Forest education programme regularly. There are variety of different forest
education programmes. It starts 1-2 sessions a month, 1-3 sessions a week or everyday
Especially Forest Service in South Korea is actively involved in forest kindergarten
development. Particularly the Act on the activation of the forest education were made
in 2011 and Forest Education specialist certification programme (210hrs) was created. Also
Forest service draws up a plan to create space for children to experience the woods
and named it as ‘children’s forest experience space’. They will start to build and raise it
up to 250 places nationwide by 2017.
Korea Association of Forest kindergarten(KAFK) played a huge role and contributed to
the growth and development of forest kindergarten in Korea. In 2010, KAFK was
established and we have strong network connection among 18 national branches across
the country. KFKA conducts the Forest kindergarten director and teacher training course
and also involved in developing Forest kindergarten education.
Specially ‘Korean forest education research association’ has been organized in 2014. It
was just after visiting Forest School Association in UK and reading some books
about forest education written by Sara Knight. It was very impressing when we found
out that UK has built and developed their own Ethos which took about 20 years. These
principals are basically reference for national standard of Forest education in Uk and it
also encompasses a wide range of ages.
In Korean forest education research association, we are building our own ethos
considering our culture, terrain and climate. We are also proceeding to develop the
guideline as combining the national level of the Early childhood curriculum with forest
Finally, through the growth of our forest education from young children in the forest
kindergarten to older children in forest school, we will try hard to contribute
development of Forest education in Korea in order for our children’s holistic
development and happiness.
We are grateful for Forest School Association in UK in order for giving us a great
challenge in forest education in Korea. We are also hoping to exchange our leaning
and continue our respectful relationship in the future.
Chairman of KAFK Seoul branch
Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood Education in Sahm Yook University